Lilwik wrote: They probably presumed that the deal they were offering Japan was too good to pass up, but that's never 100% certain, so they need Japan's opinion on it. And naturally since the US was in a position of power and planned to kill many people if the deal was rejected, that's a kind of authority, but in war death is a real option that Japan really could have chosen.
NO they didn't need Japans opinion on it, they SPECIFICALLY coached their ultimatum in terms that precluded Japan thinking it was an option, their having an opinion, that is what makes it an ultimatum
, EXACTLY THAT. The Allies in effect said "One of two things is now going to happen. Japan is going to surrender without trying to impose conditions, or we will wage a war of destruction on them that has never been seen before".
Japan had to surrender without asking for conditions
, or be destroyed. They were offered an UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER ULTIMATUM.
Tonot wrote:ultimatum : noun : a final demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations.
What is the alternative? Does "conditional surrender" mean the US going to Japan and saying something like, "Here's our proposal. If you don't like that one, we promise we won't use violence; this is not an ultimatum. We'll just sit here discussing this until we find a deal that you like without any coercive threats."
No, and here is the point you might accept.
If the USA didn't have nukes up its sleeve ( which of course is what Japan thought to be the case ), they would have had to continue to firebomb Japan, probably for years, or commit to an invasion that would have made D Day seem like a beach excursion.
And as everyone with an almanac and a calculator knew, the Allies were running out of military age men, the very pool of men who also basically were essential to be at home making more Americans* and British peoples and running factories and all the rest. The cost of the war up to that point had staggered all countries except the US, and even the US was running close to empty of fighting men. So the cost of continuing the war right into the grounds of Imperial Palace ( and of course, the whole of Japan is one huge mountain range. They would have fought for decades. ) would have been sobering for all the Allies. And the Japanese calculated that out to the Nth degree.
The extremely Right wing and highly experienced Japanese ruling case/military, thought that they would be forced back to the Home Islands, hang on like grim death in the interior of China and then the Allies would offer Japan a chance to surrender. And they thought that the military and economic realities would mean that they were going to get an initial surrender ultimatum
, absolutely refuse it, then wait till the Allies accepted that the sheer staggering cost of going on, was not acceptable without FIRST OFFERING JAPAN CONDITIONAL SURRENDER. That is actually what the Japanese thought was happening, it was all going according to their plan . . . they couldn't have known that the US was going to nuke-bomb them within a matter of weeks.
Instead, quite deliberately, the Allies simply gave an Unconditional Surrender Ultimatum, knowing the Japanese would play for time and hope to gain valuable conditions, and THEN by the rules of diplomacy, the Allies were "allowed" to go on and Nuke Japan, people suspect it was all done that way so as to show Stalin what he could expect if he went for Western Europe.
Lilwik wrote:I apologize for putting words in your mouth.
You are very good, I am sorry in my turn that I didn't realise you were doing it perfectly genuinely, thank you.
* Of course, like good Allies, many of the American Servicemen based in Allied countries were doing their best to stand-in for the men who were away in Europe and Burma and Malaya and India and the Pacific etc.